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Biniam Girmay will he put it back in 2023? At the end of 2022, the Eritrean rider was crowned best African cyclist of the year for the third time by the Tropicale Amissa Bongo. He won the 87th edition of Ghent-Wevelgem in March, before winning the 10th stage of the Tour of Italy in May.
« As for the first two trophies (from best African cyclist of the year, editor’s note), I feel immensely proud. I said, my victories at Gand-Wevelgem and at Tour of Italy were also those of the African continent. I still have trouble realizing, understanding what I achieved in 2022. This new trophy crowns my season “, declared the 22-year-old winner, the first rider from the African continent to win a Classic WorldTour. However, nothing was easy for the native of Asmara.
The Tour de France in 2023
In a long interview with the magazine Cyclist, Biniam Girmay admits that staying in Europe for a long time is synonymous with loneliness for him. “ I call or chat with my family in Eritrea every day. And when I’m in Eritrea, I never look at my phone. We’re a century behind, so it’s the good life. I really like spending time at home “, he says while indicating that he wanted to realize ” his dream » and has « finally overcome the obstacles ».
In 2023, Biniyam Girmay should be present on the roads of the Tour de France. In 2015, his compatriot Daniel Teklehaimanot was the first black African rider to compete in the Great Loop since the creation of the event in 1903. Teklehaimanot had worn the best climber’s tunic for four days. ” I was on the side of the road when Daniel’s procession passed on his return from the Tour de France in July 2015, it had been an incredible party. Like all the kids with me that day, I dreamed of being in his place, but I never imagined that I would experience this too “, testifies Biniam Girmay in the columns of The Team. Biniam Girmay avait 15 ans.
When he returned from the Tour of Italy last June, his victory was celebrated as it should be in the streets of Asmara. In his country, which had been colonized in particular by Italy, he now acts as a national hero of this young nation in the Horn of Africa, completely independent since 1993, after 25 years of war against Ethiopia.
An exceptional talent in junior
« We would never have imagined in 2015 that “Bini” would become a professional championtell to The Team Samson Solomon, the national coach, his first coach in the country’s flagship club. He was 16 and, like all other kids that age, you never know how they will adapt to life in Europe.. »
« We follow Biniam Girmay already since his training at the World Cycling Center (in Switzerland), because he demonstrated his exceptional talent as a junior, notably by winning a duel with Remco Evenepoel. One of our priorities is to integrate young talents into our project in order to build the future. We have chosen to invest in this Eritrean rider for the long term and to bring him experience, in order to allow him to become a great classics rider. “, testified in August 2021 Jean-François Bourlart, general manager of the Belgian team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.
At the dawn of this new cycling season, Biniam Girmay no longer wants us to stop at his origins, but to pay attention to his performance.